(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Gay Genius"

j68                             THE GAY GENIUS

tears again. He wrote on that day in his journal an entry typical of
his whimsy, describing his friendship with Yuko, which is the courtesy
name of Wen Tung.

"When Yuko started to paint bamboos, he did not think highly
of it himself, but people from all places came with their silks aa$
crowded his doorstep to beg for his paintings. Yuko was quite
annoyed and, throwing the silks to the floor, said angrily: 1 am
going to cut these up and have them made into stockings.' When
Yuko returned from Yangchow [modern Yangshien in Shensi] and
I was at Suchow, he wrote to me: 'Recently I have been telling
scholars that my school of bamboo painting in ink has moved over
to Suchow, and that collectors should all go there. I am sure all the
material for stockings will come to you now.5 He added two lines
in postscript saying that he wished to paint a bamboo grove teri
thousand feet high on a piece of Goose Valley silk. I said to him
that for painting a bamboo grove ten thousand feet high one would
require two hundred and fifty pieces of silk, and that I knew he was
tired of painting but only wanted to get the silk. Yuko could not
reply and only said that I was talking nonsense, and there were no
bamboo groves ten thousand feet high anyway. I replied in a poem
with the two lines: There are bamboos ten thousand feet high, when
you look at their shadows cast by the moonlight.' Yuko laughed anc^
^id: *Su always knows how to argue, but if I had two hundred and
fijjy pieces of silk I would buy a farm in the country and retire.' He
gave\me this painting of the Valley of Yuntang [tall bamboos], an|L
said tcKme: This painting is only several feet high, but the bamboos
appear t*> be ten thousand feet in 'height . . .' "

If we f^z to believe an eye-witness story recorded by Kung Ping-
chung, aj friend who had the story from the deputy magistrate at the
time of / the arrest, Su Tungpo was forewarned by his brother's
messenger. He did not know, however, how serious the charge and
punishrr^ent would be. When the messenger arrived, he was officially
on leav^  absence, and the deputy magistrate, Mr. Tsu, was acting
for

" officer came, dressed formally in his gown and high boots, and|
stood* with the ceremonial tablet in his hand in the middle of the

yar<9. The two soldiers from the censorate stood by his side in white
jackets and black turbans^ glowering ominously. The people in the office
were ijgreatly disturbed, not knowing what was going to happen. Su
TungjpX) dared not come out, and consulted the deputy magistrate, who
advisee^ him that there was no use evading the messenger and that he
might >|ust as well receive him. They discussed how he should appear,